US–China dialogue and the tenuous bilateral relationship

Despite recent diplomatic efforts by Washington and Beijing to keep the bilateral relationship on an even keel, China has continued to behave assertively in the region and Chinese President Xi Jinping has effectively promulgated his own vision for a regional and global order. In the absence of a robust or coherent US policy for the region, China appears to have gained the upper hand in terms of the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific.

Eroding democracies in the Balkans

Although rumours of war in the Balkans are overblown, the region has acquired greater strategic resonance recently, due to Russia's intensifying interest and jihadist activity.

What lies ahead for South Korea?

South Korea's new president faces stiff domestic challenges and is less inclined towards confrontation with North Korea than either his predecessor or the Trump administration.

The Manchester terrorist bombing

The jihadist bombing in Manchester followed a grimly familiar pattern: an individual with Middle Eastern roots but born in his Western host country, radicalised, and chose a ‘soft’ target.

Macron and the world

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, while inexperienced in international affairs, is inclined to return France to a tradition of national assertiveness. But his native prudence suggests more continuity than change.

The WannaCry ransomware attack

The worldwide 'WannaCry' ransomware attack of uncertain origin earlier this month did little lasting damage. Nevertheless, it indicated widespread vulnerability in cyber security.

The Kurds’ precarious balancing act in Syria

The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s utility to the US-led coalition against ISIS has bolstered its military capability and territorial position in Syria – despite Turkey's opposition.

The battle for Mosul

Iraqi government and allied forces are poised to decisively retake Mosul from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, within the next few months. But the presence of ISIS in Syria will still pose the risk of the group's resurgence in Iraq until the Iraq–Syria border is secure and ISIS has been denied control of Raqqa, its Syrian base and self-declared capital.